UACES Research Network Panel: INTERSECT Panel: The Technological Edge in EU Defence Dynamics
This panel centres its analysis of recent developments in EU defence policies on technology-related issues. It examines issues such as the governance and research challenges of AI and autonomous robotics across Europe, EU defence cooperation and the integration of post-communist defense industries, and the role of expert knowledge in shaping EU defence policies. This panel is part of the UACES Research Network INTERSECT.
Presentations of the Symposium
The EU’s Technological Power: Making the Most of Future and Emerging Technologies for European Security
The EU is poised to tackle challenging global phenomena engendered by a new age of so-called future and emerging technologies (FET), such as autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). The EU and member states have recently recognized their disruptive potential and transformative impact in the areas of security and defence. Such game-changing technologies have important civil-military applications, intertwining multi-level actors and cross-sectoral technical, economic, and defence fields. Nevertheless, Europe still severely lags behind in their research and development, due to scarcities in human capital and the lack of commercial competitiveness in these emerging sectors, as compared to major players in the field such as the USA and China. By bringing together critical perspectives from sociology, security, and technology studies, the paper examines the governance and research challenges of AI and autonomous robotics across Europe. In this regard, it explores the emergence of a European trans-sectoral security field via new configurations of power relations in the case of future-oriented technologies and the transformation of the EU into a high-tech powerhouse.
EU Defense Cooperation and the Integration of post-Communist Defense Industries
Accelerated post-2016 developments in European defense cooperation have introduced a range of new vehicles for intensifying collaboration in CARD, the EDF, and most recently PESCO. The article examines the impact of these developments on the national defense industrial policies and industry strategies in two case studies of the fastest growing actors in post-communist Europe – the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Due to general growth of defense industrial production across Europe, the article investigates whether these new collaborative opportunities are sufficient to alter the calculations of chosen varieties of defense capitalism and capable of transforming or relieving export pressures. To preview the conclusions based on in-depth analyses and key interviews, the instruments to overcome the notable division between “old and new Europe” in defense research, development, and production while poised for absolute gains are found to offer few relative gains in favor of integrating existing post-communist defense industries.
The Expert Role in the Formulation of EU Policy on Defence Research
The public policy literature on the role of interest groups in EU policy-making typically views the supply of information by interest groups as a type of expertise exchange with policy-makers. Yet, as de Bruycker (2016) points out the proposition that it may be used to exert political pressure on policy-makers is less well explored. This paper argues that the policy-making process leading to EU funding being given first to security research and more recently to defence research offers interesting insights into the latter perspective, not least as it has been sharply criticised by the EU Ombudsman for its lack of transparency and failure to follow the rules.
While the membership of the ‘Groups of Personalities’ for both security and defence has been widely criticised in the literature, we argue that in fact the more concerning angle is the way in which controversial beliefs benefitting defence firms have been accepted as fact in the resulting policy documentation. The paper argues that the lack of any critical voices participating in these processes has in fact created the reverse of the technocratic deliberation model of EU policy-making established in the scientific literature.
The EU and Cyber Defence Capabilities: A Move towards Europeanization?
Jagiellonian University, Poland / The Kosciuszko Institute
In December 2018, the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament (EP) agreed on the adoption of the EU Cybersecurity Act that not only strengthens the European Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) but also calls upon Member States (MS) to pool their efforts within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework. This has been preceded by the update of the EU Cyber Defence Framework (CDPF) a month earlier in which the Council, despite prioritizing support for developing MS’ capabilities, also mentions further integration of cyber defence capabilities under the European External Action Service to the Common Security and Defence Policy. As the EU calls upon more common actions, the capacity to develop cyber defensive measures stays primarily with the MS.
The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to reconstruct and analyze the development plan for the European cyber defenses, as conceptualized in dispersed documents released by the Council, the Commission, the EP and the EU agencies, such as European Defence Agency and ENISA. Second, it aims at assessing the added-value of most recent actions of the Union and the MS in this domain, as well as the rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape, to answer a broader question, whether there is a legitimate need and possibility for a greater europeanization of the development of the European cyber defence capabilities.
The article will be based on qualitative content analysis supplemented by quantitative methods, of key strategic documents produced by EU's institutions and MS’ cybersecurity authorities.